Cracker Jack Popcorn
In 1893, Cracker Jack was displayed at the Chicago World's Fair. F.W. Rueckheim and his brother, Louis, were the first to add peanuts to the popcorn. Louis Rueckheim discovered a process that kept “the molasses-covered popcorn morsels from sticking together” (3).
Cracker Jack got its name from a salesman who tried Cracker Jack for the first time. When Louis gave the popcorn to him, he yelled, "Cracker Jack!"(4) "Cracker Jack" originally meant "awesome!" or "wonderful!" (5).
Cracker Jack has become known as the snack to eat at a baseball game because of the song “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” which features the lyrics, “Buy Me Some Peanuts and Cracker Jack…” These lyrics were written by Jack Norworth in 1908 while he was on a subway train (6). Albert Von Tilzer composed the catchy tune that people have sung for years (7).
In 1912 the Cracker Jack Company started to put “A Prize in Every Box!” The prizes helped the sales of Cracker Jack. Today, some of the prizes that were seen in the boxes, such as 1915 baseball cards, are worth more than $60,000 (8).
It was not until 1916 that Cracker Jack acquired its well known mascot. This mascot was, and still continues to be, Sailor Jack and his dog Bingo, pictured on the left (9).
Frederick William Rueckheim and his brother, Louis Rueckheim, can be seen on the left. Click below to receive more information about the brothers who started the creation of the great baseball snack.